Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Do You Collect?

I'm back ... or MAYBE I'm back!!!  It's been almost a year since I last made a blog post.  I felt like I was just starting to roll with my blog, really just getting the hang of it, when I was hit with a very upsetting and life-changing moment in my life ... I lost my job.  I plan to post more about this past year in upcoming posts ... but for now here's what got me excited about posting today ...

From the Flea Market Style Magazine Blog: 
What do you love to collect?
What makes your heart go pitter-pat when you spot it at a flea market? How many items are in your biggest collection? We're working on an article for an upcoming issue of Flea Market Style magazine, and we'd love to know what's on your "I -have-to-buy-that-for-my-collection-list!"  We may use your answer in our magazine, so let us hear from you!

My Response:

SCHILLING! Schilling Coffee Tins, Tea Tins, and Spice Tins. Schilling Baking Powder Tins, Schilling Glass Coffee Jars, and Schilling Cookbooks. Schilling Extract Bottles, and various Schilling advertising items including "paper dolls". I have items from the late 1800's through the 1970's ... but the bulk of my items are from the 1920's, 30's & 40's. I would estimate I have at least 400 items in my collection ... been collecting for around 30 years and have most of it displayed. Not a lot of "I-have-to-buy-that-for-my-collection-list!" items ... but am ALWAYS on the lookout for something I've never seen, or something that is in better condition that what I already have. I love my SCHILLING!

I wonder if I have a chance of being chosen??  I thought it would at least be fun to try!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Day of Remembrance

Happy Memorial Day ... and THANK YOU to all who serve and have served.  I'm especially remembering today those who gave all ...

I pledge allegiance to the Flag,
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic,
for which it stands ...
One Nation under God,
Indivisible, with Liberty and
Justice for all.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Strawberry Season Is Here!

This absolutely YUMMY receipe was on the "Mennonite Girls Can Cook" Blog this morning. With strawberry season here I thought I'd pass this along through my blog as well. I can't wait to give this recipe a try.  Of course, knowing me, I'll probably BUY my pie crust dough from the grocery store, and use Cool Whip for the topping!

Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Strawberry Sheet Pie

This dessert serves 20 good sized pieces or up to 30 smaller ones.  Make the pastry for the crust a day ahead and you will have half the work finished for the day of your party.   You'll only need half of the pastry. .the other half can be wrapped in two separate discs and frozen for double pie or two single pies.

Dorothy's Pastry

  • 5 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pound tenderflake or other lard  (not shortening)
  • 1 egg and 1 tablespoon white vinegar and enough COLD water to make 1 cup
  1. Put the dry ingredients in a very large bowl.
  2. Stir it up with a pastry blender to evenly spread the ingredients through the flour.
  3. Cube the lard and cut it into the flour mixture until it is the size of oatmeal.
  4. Drizzle the water/egg/vinegar mixture over all the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until a shaggy dough forms.
  5. Dump it onto a pastry mat and pull together to form a large ball.  Don't over mix.
  6. Divide the pastry into half.  Divide half into two parts so that you will have three pieces all together.
  7. Wrap the three pieces separately in plastic wrap.  Chill.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  9. For this dessert, take the large piece of pastry and roll it onto a floured pastry mat or well floured counter large enough to come up the sides of a 13 X 18 X 1" cookie sheet .  Roll the pastry up onto your rolling pin and transfer to the cookie sheet.  Trim the edges along the top of the cookie sheet.
  10. Prick the dough with a fork every couple of inches and line the pastry with foil, pressing firmly onto the pastry, covering it all. ..extra does not need to be trimmed.
  11. Bake 10 minutes and then remove the foil and bake until evenly browned.  Do not under bake want the pastry nice and crisp.  Cool for an hour before adding the first layer.
Cream Cheese Layer
  • 2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese. ..may be light
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons instant vanilla powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Beat the softened cream cheese together with the remaining ingredients and carefully spread evenly over the cooled pastry crust.
Strawberry Filling  ( I had enough strawberry filling left to make a small 8 inch pie which is really handy if you want to enjoy pie the next day but know there will be no leftovers)
  • 4 pounds strawberries diced (it makes it easier to cut nice slices if the strawberries are diced to about 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large package strawberry gelatin
  1. Combine the sugar, and cornstarch in a large pot and stir to blend the cornstarch with the sugar.
  2. Add the water and bring to a boil, stirring the whole time.
  3. Add the package of gelatin and stir.
  4. Add the diced strawberries to the pot and allow to cool for to room temperature.
  5. Spoon the filling over the cream cheese layer and chill.
Beat 2 cups whipping cream, 1/2 cup sugar and several packages of whipping cream stabilizer or several tablespoons of vanilla instant pudding.  Using a pastry bag with a large star  tip. ..decorate and then slice and serve.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Super Simple Peanut Butter Fudge

1 - 16 oz. Jar of Peanut Butter
       (creamy or chunky - your choice!)
1 Can of Vanilla Frosting

Mix together - spread in pan and let it set-up (doesn't take long).

YEP - that's it!  I've thought of trying chocolate frosting, but haven't yet.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Keeping Busy?

I recently read this during my devotional time:  “People who are trying to be friendly sometimes ask, ‘Are you keeping busy?’  The question seems harmless, but in my mind it carries a subtle message.  Beneath the surface is a test of personal value.  If I can’t rattle off a list of things I have to do, I feel as if I’m admitting that I’m not worth much.  But does God determine our value by how busy we are?  Does He calculate our worth by how much we accomplish?  Does He reward us for living on the edge of exhaustion and not taking care of ourselves?”

How often do we feel “guilty” because the house isn’t spotless?  Or, even if it is presentable, the refrigerator that needs cleaning out, or the overflowing laundry hamper that’s stuffed behind closet doors, nags away at us!  “You need to do more!  You need to do more!”

I’ve been especially reminded of this during the past couple of months.  The church I work for has been doing “The 90-Day Challenge”.  The goal is to read the entire Bible, cover-to-cover, in 90 days.  In order to accomplish this you would need to carve out “an extra” hour (or so) each and every day for 3 months.  My first thought, “yeah, like that’s going to happen!”  And since I had such a negative attitude about finding that “extra” hour each day it DIDN’T HAPPEN for me.  Today they are on day #69 – I wish I had been doing that reading for these past 69 days.

But, back in January, I just couldn’t seem to wrap my mind around how I could make that happen.  I honestly don’t know how working women, who are married with children (and/or grandchildren) do it!  I’ve said that for years!  I always feel “behind” … and it’s JUST ME!  I only have my meals and laundry to worry about – yet I stop way too often and grab something for dinner on the way home from work because “I’m too busy to cook” … and let’s not even discuss my laundry!  For the most part I only have dishes for one – but they still manage to stack up in the kitchen sink.

I used to feel more like I could “keep up”.  Of course for the last few years my health as been a huge issue (and a good excuse?) – my energy reserves often feel like they’re in the negative digits!  And the past couple of years issues with my parents have taken up a lot of my extra time.  That’s been especially the case since August when my mom made her journey to Heaven.  My dad missed her so much that he completely fell apart physically.  He’s still working on trying to regain his strength and health from those bad couple of months.  It does take a lot of time to support another person through such a significant life change.

So I guess I do have “reasons” … or excuses!  But even with legitimate reasons, I still feel the guilt of not being more on top of things.  UNTIL …

… the other day I was reading the blog of my friend’s daughter-in-law.  She was writing about talking to several of her friends who felt overwhelmed, stressed out, and not able to stay on top of it all.  She shared this:  “On one side of a piece of paper make a list of all the things you do.  On the other side of the paper make a list of all the things you don’t do.  In order for you to be able to do the things you do, you also have to not do some other things.  In other words, you only have so much time … and so you need to choose to invest it on the ‘things I do’ side.  If you want to add something new to that side, then you probably have to move something off of it to the ‘things I don’t do’ side.  Then whenever you see someone else who, for example, bakes their own bread, and you think to yourself, ‘Wow, I wish I baked my own bread … I don’t measure up.’  You can remind yourself, ‘No, look at all the things that I’ve chosen to do … I could do that too, if I’m willing to give up something else.”

She then went on to list 10 things that she does NOT do.  She ended that with, “There are many, many more things that I don’t do because doing them would suffocate the life and beauty out of the things I do do.  Things like playing with my children and listening to my husband share about his work, or taking a walk with friends.  All the things on my list would be good things to do.  Beneficial, even.  But they can’t take the place of the other good things I’m doing.  And I am learning that I don’t need to compare my dos and don’ts with anyone else’s.”

I started to share my own list of things I don’t do – but then changed my mind.  God has made each of us different, with different talents and skills and capacities for doing.  So there is no need to compare, and therefore, I decided my own list wasn’t necessary to post.  The DO lists and the DON’T lists will be constantly changing anyway.  The idea is that we shouldn’t be pressuring ourselves into “doing it all” … or even thinking that we should try.  There will always be some new things to take on, or things we need to hold off on while we finish other things.

We are meant to live with limitations, so setting boundaries for ourselves is a good thing.  Instead of wishing you made your own bread, ask the friend who does if you can buy a loaf from her once in a while!  Think outside the box … or, maybe, it’s going to be something that will have to stay on your DON’T list indefinitely.

God doesn’t want us to feel defeated … especially about things that have no eternal value.  Deciding to put “making my bed everyday” on your DON’T list isn’t going to keep anyone from going to Heaven!  But it's hard to feel motivated to ask a non-Christian friend to attend church with you if your mind is mush because you’re stressed and frazzled from not putting more things on your DON’T list.

If we could do it all we wouldn’t know our need for God … so for that reason I’m glad my DON’T list is so stinkin’ long!!

Easy Chicken Divan

2 (10 oz.) Pkgs. Frozen Broccoli
3 Chicken Breasts, Baked and cut into smaller pieces
         (or just pull it apart - that's what I do!)
2 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 C. Mayonaise
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Curry Powder
1/2 C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cook Broccoli and arrange on the bottom of your baking dish (spray or grease dish).  Arrange chicken over the broccoli.  Combine soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder.  Pour over chicken and broccoli.  Sprinkle with grated cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees until bubbling (30 minutes or so).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ready For Spring

Aren't these pretty?  So fresh, and springlike.  So whimsical.  I love them!

I saw this in Google Images the other day when (once again) I was actually looking for something completely different.  Don’t you just love how you can type something into Google, thinking it’s the MOST OBVIOUS word or phrase to get you where you want to go, only to have a plethora of things pop-up that have nothing to do with what you were really looking for?  But I guess that’s another blog!

Anyway, I’ve been feeling a little “discontent” with some of my home d├ęcor.  Nothing MAJOR – just the feeling of wanting to do a few different things here and here.  Change some things up, freshen things up … you know what I’m saying.  When I saw this picture I was immediately gripped with an “I WANT THAT”, gotta have it, my OCD “I will search until I find these dishes” mentality.  Does that ever happen to anyone else? 

I doubt I’ll ever get these dishes – but I still want to freshen some things up.  I ordered some new shelves off of eBay that I want to put in my bathroom.

I think these are going to look FABULOUS with all of my vintage pharmaceutical bottles and tins on them.  Once they come, and I make the change I’ll post pictures so you can see how it turned out.

Also ordered this mirror (YES, this seller had things that made me go a little CRAZY!) – I think I’m going to put it over my fireplace.  But I’m going to have to see if that’s really it’s spot once it gets here.

I suspect I’m starting to come down with some Spring Fever – it’s usually this time of year when I start thinking that things in my house need to be changed around in one way or another!  Won’t be long now until we have LOTS of flowers blooming.  Remember to move your clocks ahead tonight.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Maybe I Just Needed Incentive?

While at work today I was trying to find some information about the location for this year’s Men’s Retreat (for some promo I was working on).  You know how that goes sometimes – you’re looking for one thing, you stumble onto another thing, you click a link here, you click a link there …

Anyway, that’s what I was doing when I stumbled onto a place I’d never even heard of.  It’s absolutely beautiful, it’s right here in Oregon, and I’d never even heard of it!  It’s a place in the Mount Hood area called Ramona Falls.

GORGEOUS eh?  It looks like a painting - but it's a photograph!

Right away I just knew I wanted to see this place for myself!  But when I started to read about how to get there my excitement sort of deflated.  It’s a 7.1 mile moderate to difficult hike.  Whoa … it’s been a long, long, long time since I’ve WALKED 7.1 miles!!  And I’m pretty sure I’ve NEVER HIKED 7.1 miles!

But then I got one of those “Oprah ‘ah ha’ moments”, and remembered the new exercise DVD’s I ordered.  They were waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday.  I didn’t have a chance to even open them yet … but now that they’re here I certainly plan to use them!  So the little wheels in my head started to spin.  Maybe that 7.1 mile moderate to difficult (eek!!) Ramona Falls hike is the incentive I need to really kick-start my motivation!  Just what I’ve needed to STICK to the Weight Watchers eating plan, start using those DVD’s, work my way up to more challenging exercise, and viola RAMONA FALLS!!!

Ramona Creek, on the trail to Ramona Falls

I know with CERTAINTY that I won’t be making that hike in 2011 (sadly).  Even if my motivation for diet/exercise were at 1000% - my heart issues would make it IMPOSSIBLE to condition my body for something like this so soon.  So MY GOAL – to make this hike in the summer of 2012!!

I’ve already emailed my brother and made him say he will take me here and do the hike with me!  He and my sis-in-law like to do hiking in the summer – it will be a fun thing to look forward to doing with them.  I’m going to make myself a copy of this Ramona Falls picture and keep it somewhere in my house where I can look at it and remind myself of one of the things I’m working toward.

Ramona Falls or BUST!!!